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Giving everyone a voice

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RCP Cymru Wales has published a new discussion paper and toolkit for clinical engagement that calls for a clear strategic vision for the NHS Wales Executive and stronger relationships with the third sector.

Royal colleges, national charities and patient groups came together in a workshop in May 2023 with clinical leaders across Wales to discuss how the new NHS Wales Executive – which has been up and running since April 2023 – should operate in practice. The Executive has been established to give the Welsh NHS a ‘stronger central guiding hand’ – ending the postcode lottery in healthcare by standardising best practice across Wales and supporting health boards to improve patient care.

Coming only a fortnight after the minister for health and social services asked people to play their part in the future of the Welsh NHS, this new discussion paper makes 20 recommendations and includes a practical toolkit to help clinicians and managers reach out for expert advice from charities and professional bodies. It follows a previous discussion paper, Driving change together, which called for a new, collaborative approach to running the health service.

The new discussion paper calls for:

  • a clear strategic vision for the NHS Wales Executive, alongside regular monitoring of progress and regular evaluation of success
  • better communication and stronger relationships with health boards, NHS trusts, the Welsh government, external stakeholders and the public
  • an open access information hub where meeting papers, briefings and consultations from across the system can be published online in one place
  • a genuine partnership approach to service design in which a wide range of voices are valued from all parts of the system
  • an all-Wales clinical networks forum that regularly brings together clinicians, managers and third sector organisations to share best practice.